It seems like we’re spending more and more time in our vehicles these days, doesn’t it? What if I told you that the average American now spends a full 18 days in their cars in a year? With steadily rising commute times (now up to an average of 54 minutes a day) and more cars on the road today than ever before, it’s pretty clear that this is going to continue to be a place we spend a lot of our time.
So we might as well make the best of things, right? Just like it’s a good idea to invest in a good mattress, you might as well make your car a nice place to sit, and hopefully protect it as well as you can in order to retain as much resale value as you can for when it comes time to move onto something else.
Here are five great accessories to help make your commute a little more tolerable, allowing you to just throw on a podcast and hit cruise control. Life’s too short to have to sweat the small stuff all the time.
“Alexa, take me to Las Vegas”
“Alexa, play the Joe Rogan Experience.”
“Alexa, why, oh why do people insist on hogging the left lane?!”
“Alexa, what’s the meaning of life?”
Honestly the whole Alexa thing never clicked for me until now. I don’t need it in my house when I can look up anything I want as quickly as I want, however, in the car it’s a godsend! You don’t have to take your hands off the wheel, you don’t have to look down and try to figure out what’s going on some sun-glare covered screen, you just say what you need and it’s done.
So those geniuses at Nextbase took their already excellent line of dashcams, and added in Alexa functionality on top of an already impressive spec sheet. So now not only do you have access to high resolution recording and, automatic loop save functionality to save space, and GPS, but now tapping into the well built out Alexa service as well. And even the top of the line, feature packed models still come in at under $200.
Still, if you don’t need Alexa or ultra high resolution recording, or just want to save a little cash, they have lower spec models that just feature the dashcam essentials. Although even the bass 122 model has smart parking functionality, which detects when you park, shutting down everything accept the G-Force sensor. That means the cam will detect if your car gets bumped, and turn on to record for three minutes to capture the aftermath of whatever happened to your car. That’s pretty impressive for only $75 if you ask me.
Price starts at: $145
Coverking’s neosupreme material gets you most of the look and comfort of real wetsuit neoprene, the difference being that they are a bit thinner and will only protect against some light rain or small spills. So if rain isn’t a big worry for you and your puppy in the back is well potty trained, then the neosupreme seat covers will likely get the job done.
Each cover is custom designed to fit your exact year, make, model, and trim level so you won’t be losing your car’s stock storage and safety features after you throw on the seat covers. Speaking of which, installation is quick and painless, just use the supplied safety gear and traction pads included in the free installation kit. Coverking has you covered with detailed instructions, so your seats will be decked out with upholstery protecting seat covers, and give your interior a personal touch with the wide color selection available.
These aren’t just one-size-fits-most, off the shelf seat covers that start drooping 15 minutes after they’ve been installed. Coverking neosupreme seat covers are 100% made to order right here in the USA, precision designed and cut using advanced 3D imaging equipment, giving you a snug fit that’ll feel like it came as a factory option.
Price starts at: $70
Do you have a shoes off policy in your house? Or at least in rooms with carpet? Well unfortunately that’s not really feasible in your car, but carpet is still carpet, and it’s a shame to subject it to our dirty shoes all the time, along with god knows what else might spill down there. That’s where a good seat of all-weather floor liners comes in handy. Husky Liners WeatherBeater weather mats are laser-scanned and crafted from a soft, yet strong flexible rubber for durability and a nice soft feel under your feet that gives you good traction no matter how wet they get.
With high side walls to keep spills, dirt, and grime contained, you won’t have to worry about your poor carpet feeling nature’s wrath. And unlike some other all weather mats on the market, these won’t feel like your putting your feet down on hard plastic, but a pliable rubber that settles and forms to your carpet over time, giving you the best fit possible over time for a seamless look.
Husky Liners designs and manufactures each X-act Contour liners right here in the US, to ensure a quality, vehicle specific fit that will keep your carpet clean and neat for when it’s time to sell, years down the line.
Nothing is worse than getting into a hot car in the afternoon, having to sit in traffic while waiting for your A/C to start giving you that sweet, cool relief. I mean even just trying to put on your seat belt when the buckle sitting at like 189 degrees isn’t what I would call fun. The answer? Throw a good sunshade in your windshield and do what you can to help the situation. This will also save your dashboard and other interior bits from sun damage. I have the Carhartt version myself, and it works wonders. Well worth the premium over cheaper sunshades for the perfect fit, and insulating thickness.
The issue with cheap sunshades is they always start to sag in the middle, and just become a wrinkled mess to deal with. The UVS100 on the other hand maintains a solid core structure for the exact same level of windshield coverage next year as it’s giving you when it’s brand new. That combined with the fact that they’re custom fit for your specific year, make, and model makes these well worth the added cost.
It’s awesome that all this Overland stuff is blowing up right now, but so much of it is just so insanely expensive! Not everything has to be so complicated and overwrought with #utility over just focusing on the essentials. Well Napier isn’t new to this game. They’ve been doing this for 30 years now, and they do it damn well. Now, you can break camp—without breaking the bank—wherever and whenever the outdoors calls.
Get yourself up off of the cold, damp, uneven ground, and camp comfortably night after night without having to worry about rolling over onto a rock right in the middle of your spine. Plus it’s even easier to setup than a regular ground tent, as your truck bed provides repeatable and reliable structure to set the tent up on night after night as you travel.
Complete with one large entrance, two large windows with dividers, and a rain fly, this truck tent is built for battle with the elements. The patented, sewn–in floor exclusive to Napier’s truck tents makes for a comfortable camping experience. And, setup and storage are easy, thanks to the shock–corded fiberglass poles and included storage bag.
Icing on the cake here is that Napier will plant one tree for every tent they sell to help make sure our wilderness remains that way, and the tent comes with a 1-year warranty as well.
Bonus: AirBedz Air Mattress
Price starts at: $140
Adding to the camping theme here, you can even do yourself one better by adding an inflatable mattress into the mix, giving you the best night’s sleep this side of wussing out and getting a hotel room. These are designed for truck beds, or can be had for SUVs as well, turning just about any utility vehicle you’ve got into a mobile camper.
The cool thing about these mattresses is that not only do they incorporate cutouts for the wheel wells of your truck/SUV, but if you just want to use them as regular air mattresses at home when guests come over, you can add on matching wheel well inserts to make it a complete bed.
The AirBedz can be had for $140-$250, but if you want something a little more affordable, both Napier and Rightline have options for under $100 to get you out there and comfortable without breaking the bank. It’s never been so affordable to be able to go out and do things like this. Take advantage!
So do you think? What’d we miss? What’s one accessory that you couldn’t live without in your car or truck? Let me know down in the comments below!